Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Can you really return a child?

Melissa and Tony Wescott are afraid of their son. They're so afraid of the boy they adopted that they're trying to have Oklahoma law changed so that they can return him to the state's care.
"He tried to burn our home down. The note said, 'I'm sorry you had to die,'" Melissa Wescott told "Good Morning America."
She said she and her husband have found butcher knives under his mattress and lighters hidden in his bedroom.
The Wescotts' 11-year-old son has been locked up in a psychiatric hospital in Tulsa, Okla., for nearly a year. But now doctors say he's not a danger to himself or anyone else, and the boy is scheduled to be released from the hospital next month

This story absolutely breaks my heart. I cried both times I watched the clip above. I was actually planning on doing a post on adoption before I read about this, but my mind still hasn't worked itself out to the point where I can coherently express myself.

The reason this story affected me so much is because as an adoptee, I know what it feels like to be told that your getting sent back. From age 12 until I was a legal adult (18 years old) my adoptive mother constantly threatened to call CAS (the Canadian equivalent to CPS) and have me removed from her care.

But here's the thing, I never threatened to burn down the house, or threaten to kill her. Actually, the opposite is true. I was a normal kid who didn't always clean my room when I was supposed to. Somehow fights over me cleaning my room would lead to her kicking me out of the house, or threatening to call CAS. From age 12 on, I had to beg friends parents to let me stay over, or if that didn't work wander the streets until morning and see if I would be allowed back into the house.

One time things got really bad, and after fighting my amother told me to get into the car (I didn't dare disobey her). She was going to drop me off at CAS. On the way she got so angry that she threatened to crash the car into a concrete pole, because she felt it was better off if she were dead. I guess she felt that I had to die too. She swerved the car away from the pole at the last second...

The horrible part is I ended up bawling and begging her to take me back home. Now that I'm an adult, I realize that was probably one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. But I was 12! How is a 12 year old really supposed to know whats best for her? I had issues, but for the most part I was a good kid! Most of the issues I had as a kid were probably due to the stress caused by living in such a crazy environment. The worst I did was skip class, and smoke weed every now and again. While some of my friends ended up snorting coke, and eventually smoking crack, I never once tried any sort of hard drugs. I got through high school only because I was smart enough that I didn't really need to study and I was lucky enough to have incredibly understanding teachers that understood that I had issues at home and didn't make a huge issue about my attendance.

I'm spending Christmas with friends instead of "family". There's not much "family" anyway - my grandfather passed when my amother was 3, and my grandmother passed away a few years ago (she is the only person in my afamily that I considered actual family). My amother never married. She has a sister she doesn't talk to because she's "crazy", and my aunt and uncle live on the other side of the country. I'm not really close to any of my cousins, even though one lives not too far from me.

I'm not really family to them any more than they are family to me. A few years back, my grandmothers family put out a family tree book. Every family member had a little section in the book with a few paragraphs dedicated to them...that is everyone except for me. I was mentioned as my amothers "chosen" daughter.

After getting into an argument with my amother about an incredibly rude and hurtful comment she made which she refused to apologize for making (I shouldn't say that, she did but it was more to the tune of "I'm sorry if you were offended by what I did, but I don't think I was being offensive...") I asked her why she bother adopting me in the first place. She responded by telling me she was tired of me bullying her about adopting me, and that I needed to get over it...

She's probably right. I probably should just get over it, and I'm probably making a big deal out of nothing. But there's a part of me that thinks that's probably all bullshit.

I know the situation with this little boy is different. My birth mother never abused me, I was 17 days old when I was adopted. She didn't drink or smoke during her pregnacy, in fact for the 17 days that I was hers she even breastfed me. I know she must have loved me if she was willing to bond that way with her child knowing she may never see her again. She gave me up because she wanted me to have a better chance at life in the North.

Still, I think its even more troubling that these parents want to give this child back knowing all that he has been through. Does this child not still deserve to be loved? Will no one fight for him? Will nobody give him a chance? All he's probably known is trauma and horror, I can't imagine what being kicked out his new family will do to him.

I've cried enough for tonight, I'll write more later.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Canadian Holocaust

I was just over at Alienated Conclusions and read that Kevin Annett has passed away. For those who don't know who Annett is, he was a former United Church minister who dedicated his life to exposing the truth about the genocide of the First Nations people in this country. He was truly a great Canadian hero.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pointless talents/weird habits=Friday Find(s)!!!

I have a lot of pointless talents and weird habits. I'm that person who is a source of useless information and facts. I constantly get asked why I know things, and what is the point of knowing such things, etc.

One of my (not so) odd (anymore) habits involves Google. I Google everything, and have been for some time. I never thought there was anything out of the ordinary about this habit until a friend stated to me one day, that before I had prompted her, she never used Google. I guess at some point I got irritated by her asking me for info all the time and started referring her to Google. Even before Google, as a kid I spent countless hours researching random things on Encarta just for the fun of it.

Another one of my pointless talents is finding interesting info on the youtubes. I once had a friend tell me I could teach a course with all the interesting links I found on Youtube.

So because I'm one of the world's worst bloggers (my posts tend to be sporadic, and few and far between...although lately I've been more inspired I'll admit) I think I'll start posting my weekly youtube finds...I'll call it my Friday Finds!

So my first Friday finds center around environmental issues that affect everyday, middle class, minority world (aka 1st world, Developed nations, the North...people with a fair amount of privilege) citizens. Why did I choose to focus on environmental issues??? Because I fancy myself a bit of a treehugger, and feel that everyone should watch these videos at least once (if not many times) because they challenge what most of us take for enjoy!

Friday, December 04, 2009

The journey so far...

It seems like another lifetime ago when I felt the need to look like I did in that photo. I was weave-a-licious (and yes, those are blue contacts I'm sportin). I don't think I ever really questioned whether or not altering my appearance so significantly was the thing to do; I just did it. I knew deep down I wasn't being true to myself, but I didn't care. I made excuses to myself as to why I couldn't just be happy with my unaltered natural hair: it was too thick, too kinky, too nappy, it shrunk up when washed, it never could be pressed completely straight, it was just too difficult...the list of excuses I had as to why I felt my hair wasn't good enough could fill a book.

I never had an addiction to the creamy crack. My hair is far too fine to put up with chemicals (or heat for that matter) for very long. I did however love extensions and weaves! When I read that piece by Joy Bryant in which she proclaims that her weave made her feel more human, I remember thinking about how at one time I could completely relate to those sentiments.

But things changed.

Ever since I cut my hair, and have made a commitment to wearing it sans weave or extensions, I've been able to truly realize the beauty of my kinks and coils. I wouldn't trade them for anything! Not only that, but caring for my hair is actually a whole lot of fun.

I've begun to realize that wearing hair that once grew out of the head of someone else is a rather questionable practice. I had watched some clips from a documentary awhile back about a British pop stars search to the question: Whose hair is it anyway? The hair extensions the stars wear comes from the heads of women and girls who are probably getting paid nothing or very little for their sacrifice. The cheap stuff most normal people buy however...literally comes from the garbage.

That's just depressing.

I am not willing to wear trash on my head. There is something very lowly and pathetic about wearing garbage.

So my journey continues on, and I'm enjoying every step on the way...

Check out my new blog about natural haircare and all things green!